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Yurt Newbie - Looking For Semi-permanent Living In A Camping Yurt?

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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Talking Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

Hello All!

I'm new to forum life in general (in fact, this is my first account on a forum) so please forgive me if this is a rather long and rambling question.

I'm rather new to yurts, but I've been heavily researching them for the past month or so. My beau and I are very interested in moving into one for nomadic living. I was hoping someone out here has had similar goals to ours (which I'll detail in a moment), or has had any experience with what we are trying to do.

Our primary goal is a portable living structure that is stable. I'm aware of the history of traditional Gers or Yurts, but the deeper I delve into the "manufactured" or "big company" yurts, they seem to have wide additions of bells and whistles (such as large glass windows) that would make them much more difficult to move and transport than we'd like.

We would need a yurt that not only -can be- set up by two people, but is essentially intended for that purpose without losing too many hours. Additionally it needs to be truly travel ready. The two main locations that it would be transported from are Maryland and an area of North Carolina off of the Albemarle sound. However, we want the ability to really travel with it for a true nomadic lifestyle.

We don't have any plans for wiring or pluming it, it would be truly off the grid with simple additions like an outdoor camp shower (think a plastic bag and nozzle), a humanure composting toilet, and a small woodstove inside. I'd like to think that if the frame itself is stable enough, we could make additions to it over time as needed if we decide to *ahem* "settle down".

Weight would also be a helpful factor, because we are considering this as a semi-permanent residence while we prepare for a livaboard situation on a sailboat (think 3-10 years on land heavily saving and learning to prepare for this). If it was small and light enough to be stored and transported in this fashion, we would be in heaven.

Our primary concern after quite a bit of research in the various companies is the predominance of the wooden and concrete platforms. Since we'll be moving this fellow around quite a bit (and quite often on borrowed property such as back yards or campgrounds) pouring concrete or constructing a wooden platform isn't really an option. I'm quite tempted to do an insulated/water resistant tarp for the flooring for weight and portability. I did see the straw platform, and that seems like a good semi-permanent (1-2 solution), but it would need to be repurchased at a second location.

In essence - is it possible to live for 3-5 years (or longer ideally) in a camping yurt? I've tagged a few companies that I know of who make yurts in this style, and I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with these.

Any other tips/tricks/advice would be very helpful! Thank you all dearly!

(Jeez this was long!)

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

Oh, I also forgot to toss in that I'm a bit of a hippie and I'm much more inclined toward natural (see non PVC) materials. I'd like to leave the smallest footprint possible and that includes the way it's manufactured as well.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

You can use bails of hay and plywood for flooring btw. Here is an example:

http://www.yurtforum.com/forums/buil....html#post1161

You may want to check out

Surely Yurts

:

Yurts for sale at Surely Yurts!

These are relatively lightweight but I wouldn't call them

camping yurts

, which seems to me what you are looking for.

Groovy yurts

also has something like these too, though maybe a little heavier, not sure.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orions_End View Post
In essence - is it possible to live for 3-5 years (or longer ideally) in a camping yurt?)
Of course it is, the Mongols have done it for centuries. It all depends on your requirements for comfort, hygiene (and possibly longevity!).

The minute you want to stay warm, dry and reasonably clean you will discover that dirt floors, mouldy fabrics, poor

insulation

and less than watertight construction can be a real problem.

Why a yurt? There are other options that are much simpler that would help you towards you goal such as a small caravan etc. (Don't get me wrong, I love yurts and we have six of them). It's just that it might be useful to look at the most efficient way to get to your goal.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Jafo - I spotted the bails of hay platform when I was lurking around the forum earlier. I love this idea. My only concern is that the bales themselves wouldn't be transportable without a trailer or large van, so we would probably want to purchase them at our next location. Though, I'd like the ability to go without them in a pinch.

I had a little trouble navigating to the

Groovy Yurts

site in English, but I finally found it! While it's a bit buggy, I am curious about their "portable" platform. I'll probably reach out to them directly with more questions.

Surely Yurts

seem to be displayed at ground level in a few images, but I haven't had much luck finding images of the inside floor.

stephanwik - These are great questions! I've actually had quite a bit of experience with "non-traditional" living environments. I was off the grid in elementary school (though, we didn't know what it was called - we were just "poor" or "didn't have running water or electricity") in a converted 5th wheel trailer that utilized some of the same simple practices I mentioned above. I did my homework with antique kerosene lamps, cooked over a steel drum, and showered with a $10 camp shower from Wal-Mart.

I've also lived in a school bus and a standard (and very cheap) pre-made

dome

tent for the better parts of years. These were all in diverse climates and areas ranging from Tennessee to Oregon. In all of these circumstances, we never felt that we had trouble staying "warm, dry and reasonably clean".

Why a yurt and not something else? Granted, it would be easier to grab a mobile home, but it doesn't pack well on a sailboat or travel overseas. A standard tent is much less expensive and easier to obtain, but isn't very sturdy and you certainly can't have a wood stove indoors when you need one.

I also like the idea of being able to add to it when needed. If the

insulation

isn't sufficient there are a myriad of options that I could add "after market". The same is true with weather and waterproofing. If I decide that I want to try to make it more permanent or buy a plot of land, I can choose to install a platform or add more items. Of course, I'd like to start with a structurally stable and livable beginning product.

Does anyone have personal experience with the vinyl/tarp/water resistant flooring (especially the ones that come pre-packaged) in camp style yurts? I'd love to hear the manufacturers ring in on this as well.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

You can generally buy hay pretty cheap. Up here in upstate NY, you can get individual bails for like $1.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Yurt Newbie - Looking for semi-permanent living in a camping yurt?

Thanks Jafo! I think that might be our best choice. In that circumstance, I'd assume that our options would be a bit more open (meaning that we wouldn't always need one with a built-in bottom).

I do know that the two main areas we would be travelling to have nearby rural areas and farming communities (especially in North Carolina). Now it's just a question of how to best take care of/transport a plywood platform that's more than 10' in diameter. We'd certainly do something like this or the Groovy Yurts portable platform for longer stays.

Once again though, my concern would be the weight/ease of transport in the plywood.

One tends to worry that a lighter yurt frame may be less structurally stable in the long haul, though I would also think that a flexible wood would be ideal for windy conditions? "What doesn't bend breaks.", or is this a false assumption?

Last edited by Orions_End; 08-23-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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